Gluten Free Caramel Chocolate Chunk Blondies

I’ve heard that some people cut gluten from their diet in order to lose weight. I don’t know how that works for them, when recipes for things like gluten free caramel chocolate chunk blondies exist.

Lace and Lemons - GF Caramel Chocolate Chunk Blondies

My mom bought me a spiffy little cookbook that has a nice variety of GF recipes for everything from breakfast to desserts – so naturally I went for the desserts first. Baking is the scary part of eating low-gluten or gluten-free. Even if you’re a big pasta eater, you can find some reasonably priced pastas in most grocery stores. But cookies? Yikes. No one likes paying $6 for a box of mediocre cookies.

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Your Very Own Valet

You ever have one of those days where you set out to do a simple task and every little thing about it is difficult?  I just had one of those days – well, several days, because I had to walk away from the project – while trying to make something that really should have taken less than an hour from start to finish. It turned out well in the end, thankfully.

For Nicholas’s birthday, I wanted to make him his own valet.

Mr. Bates

But no, I don’t mean his own Mr. Bates.

I mean a little dresser valet, because he only gets to use a small corner of my usually-cluttered dresser, as there’s no night stand on that side of the room. He keeps his keys and phone and whatnot there, and he likes to keep his things neatly organized.

Lace and Lemons - Dresser Valet

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Candy Christmas Trees

Lace and Lemons - Candy Christmas TreesThis is one of my favorite Christmas traditions.  It still shocks me that our mom ever did this with us – she’s crafty, but hates messy things. These Candy Christmas Trees are messy, but so cute and so fun to put together.  Among other things, Christmas is about giving, so I’m giving you this lovely tradition from our family! Enjoy 🙂

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Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

My latest shipment of Humira just arrived today. I still have a bruise on my leg from my last injection, so at least I won’t have trouble remembering which leg to use this week. In 2005, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.  After eight and a half years I’m finally at a point where I feel comfortable talking to people about my condition. I won’t get into the details of all the symptoms with you here, but please take the time to read up on Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease on the Crohn’s and  Colitis Foundation of America website. Another great resource is iHaveUC. Roughly 1 in 200 Americans suffer with these conditions – and many folks haven’t been diagnosed and are struggling along without help. That’s a lot of people in pain, malnourished, trapped at home or in restroom stalls, and quite possibly dealing with depression. This week is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, so I encourage you to learn more about these diseases, to visit a gastroenterologist if you’ve been suffering any of the symptoms seen on the CCFA website, to spread the word about Awareness Week, to make a donation to the CCFA, and/or, if you know someone with Crohn’s or Colitis, to let them know that you’re there for them when they need help.

Dinners here lately have been experimental. About a month ago I started cutting gluten out of my diet, hoping to control some symptoms I’m still dealing with. It seems to be helping, which is great. The downside is that I have to learn new recipes, or rework the ones I know. I’m also pretty sentimental about food – I love the recipes we had growing up, and have grown really attached to new ones I had learned since I moved out of my parents’ house.

So I took a chance to create a gluten-free version of one of my favorite childhood recipes. In my mom’s cookbook this is Pizza Noodle Bake. In our house it’s called “that pizza pasta stuff”.  For now I’ll call its new incarnation Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole, until a shorter or more confused name comes along. Pizza Squash, perhaps.

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Easy Dish Covers

Lace and Lemons Bowl CoversRemember these guys? Rocco has photobombed many photos on this blog, and as a duo they inspired this post in which i try to curb their appetite for trash and trash bag handles. Now with holiday parties and gatherings upon us, we had to address their equally voracious appetite for carbs, starches and dairy products.

The easy solution is to get dish covers or domes, but the glass ones, while they are very pretty, are bulky, heavy and pricey. My own version is not as pretty, but it’s inexpensive, light and easy to store. If you have pesky pets who like to pilfer your pretzels (I am not ashamed of that alliteration), I’ll tell you how to make your own dish covers.

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Lace and Lemons DIY Wedding Roundup

Oh hi, May, when did you get here? 2013 is rolling right along. I was glancing back through our sort-of-a-year’s-worth of posts and noticed a lot of them starting with “Sorry it’s been so long” excuses.

But not this time!  In the past few months Nick and I bought this:

Lace and Lemons

And I made this:

Lace and Lemons Yellow Ombre Wedding Cake

So I think the absence is justified.

I don’t have anything new at the moment (things have been worked on, just not finished), but it’s that time of year when brides are scouring Pinterest to put last-minute personal DIY touches on their Big Day, so I thought I’d scrape together a small round-up of the wedding-related DIY posts on Lace and Lemons!

Roaring 20’s Bridal Shower Invites:

Roaring 20’s Bridal Shower Invites!

Art Deco Bridal Shower Invitations:

Art Deco Wedding Invitations!

Vintage Suitcase Place Card Display:

Vintage Suitcase Place Card Display

Mr. & Mrs. Head Table Sign:

Mr. & Mrs. Head Table Sign

And for some pre-wedding self-pampering (or It’s-finally-warm-enough-that-I-can-reasonably-wear-sandals-oh-gosh-my-feet-look-awful):

Homemade Sugar and Salt Scrubs

To do, or not to do

January was awful. I’m pretending January didn’t happen, and that 2013 only has 11 months in it.

Hey yinz, happy February!

I have high ambitions of being much more organized in 2013 than, well, any other year in my life. So far it has worked out let’s say 4/7 of the time. I’ll have a few days when I am up on time, getting stuff done (right after that first cup of coffee), cleaning dishes right away, putting stuff where it belongs, crossing things off the to-do list. And then all of a sudden we’ll have two or three days in a row when we’ve got places to be right after work and there’s just no time (ok, or we’re just too tired) to fetch and do and clean and pick up after ourselves. And it is so hard to catch up from those days.

But we’re working on it!

One thing that really helps to keep me on track is writing things down. I need that visual of what needs to be done when, and typing it doesn’t cut it. For years I’ve been using just a basic spiral notebook for my day-to-day to-do lists and grocery lists. I love seeing that page at the end of the day with all of the tasks crossed off, and it’s easy to fill in new tasks or thoughts as they pop into my head.

My problem at work is that a notebook gets lost in the shuffle on my desk – there are just too many papers, too many files, and if I can’t see the to-do list it won’t be nagging at me to get done. I had made myself a mini dry erase board out of a standing 4×6 picture frame (because stuff that heavy won’t hang nicely on cubicle walls). That little thing just doesn’t cut it anymore. So here’s how I made my new, big, 8×10 standing dry erase board:

I bought a cheap picture frame at Target. It was on clearance for less than $3. You can get one at the dollar store, but sometimes the stands on those are super flimsy.

Lace and Lemons Memo Board

I dug out some scrap book paper (I have a ton of this stuff, but I don’t scrap book) and set. This is where the dry erase board gets its character: will it be bright colors? Wood grain? Antique-looking white tin ceiling tile?

Lace and Lemons Memo Board Lace and Lemons Memo Board Lace and Lemons Memo Board

I used the paper that was in the frame to mark out the area I wanted from my scrap book paper, and cut it to size.

Lace and Lemons Memo Board

Lace and Lemons Memo Board

Then I popped it into the frame. Done!

Lace and Lemons Memo Board

I liked the bright stripey paper, but I’ve been wanting to use this ceiling tile image for a long time, and I think my dry erase markers will show up on it better.

Lace and Lemons Memo Board

 I’m gonna take this to work today and see if my productivity improves any! Or if I just end up doodling all day.

Lace and Lemons Memo Board

 Stay tuned this month, I have plans for Valentine’s Day, a bridesmaid’s dress refashion (leftover from Christmas time), and I do believe we’ve got a Lace & Lemons birthday coming up! For which I have absolutely no plan.  I’ll work on that.

~Amy

Stash Lashes

I recently discovered these fun things at Sephora:

and I want them. 

I’d love to have just the tips of my eyelashes decorated with delicate cut out feathers. I can’t justify $19 (or $9 on sale, even) for a one-time use eye accessory. So here’s my $2, conceivably reusable version:

Lace and Lemons Stash Lashes

Needed: $1 sheet of mustache stickers from Target, $1 false eyelash kit, also from Target, powder (any on hand), scissors (also on hand) .

Lace and Lemons Stash Lashes

Apply makeup as usual, preferably with a dark eyeliner to blend in with the mustaches (I’ll use gel or liquid liner tonight, couldn’t find it this morning). 

Choose a mustache with a fun curly edge, and trim it to a tapered point.  You can try them on at this point and see if you need to trim down any more.

Lace and Lemons Stash Lashes

Lace and Lemons Stash Lashes

Apply powder to the sticky side, just of the parts you don’t want to stick to your face (like the big curl on these).

Lace and Lemons Stash Lashes

Curl the sticker around a makeup brush or eyeliner, so that it stands away from your face.

Lace and Lemons Stash Lashes

Apply eyelash glue to the pointy tip and wait a bit until it’s tacky.

Lace and Lemons Stash Lashes

Place the sticker at the corner of your eye. Bask in your awesomeness, and ring in the New Year in style! Or, as I’m going to do right now, go out grocery shopping looking rather eccentric. It’s okay. Just own it.

Lace and Lemons Stash Lashes

Happy New Year!

~Amy

What Have I Got in My Pocket

Way back in the day, my grandmother made a little pocket doll for me. Actually, she made me two, because I lost one at daycare and was so upset that I needed another one.  The second one had my name stitched on it so that if it was lost it could be returned. Shortly thereafter I found the original doll, who now had a bff.

Lace and Lemons Pocket Doll

Fast forward two decades. Nick and I had the distinct honor of babysitting our niece, Maggie, the other weekend, and I decided that she needs her own pocket doll to haul around in her pocket along with all the dandelions, dirt and rocks.

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Come and Trim My Christmas Tree

Seating arrangements are a challenge of logic, physics, creativity and sociability. Seating arrangements in tiny apartments: doubly so.

Nick and I are hosting Christmas dinner (well, lunch. We can’t wait all day for food and family togetherness) and our space is limited. There are also things to consider, like making sure there’s someone next to my niece, Maggie, to make sure that most of her food stays makes it from her plate to her mouth and not the floor. And that you don’t want to make the same people sit at the kids table every time. And that I always sit next to my aunt, Tracy, at family dinners.

Enter the place card.

Not wanting to go the traditional paper route while hosting my first Christmas dinner as a Mrs., (I did host once for my parents and grandmothers at my first apartment years ago. It was a basement apartment. No seriously. Basement.) I opted to go fancy and crafty and make salt dough ornaments that will double as place cards and party favors.

Lace Lemons Salt Dough Ornaments

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